By Johanna Lois Serohijos

Photos by Mark Serohijos

A FEW years back, the Philippines made history as it housed the first longest dual zipline in the entire Asian region. In 2009, Mr. and Mrs. Jess Paras, the owners, opened the doors of Dahilayan Forest Park to the public and what initially was meant to be a private vacation house in 2001 became one of the top tourist destinations in the region since.

Built on the foot of Mount Kitanglad, one of the popular mountains in the province, visitors can enjoy the refreshingly cool mountain breeze (which often falls up to 17°C at nights) and the scenic view of the undeniably relaxing greenery in the area. Perfect picnic spots are nestled in the middle of the vast lined pine trees. Along the area, ponds with small fishes can also be found.

Apart from the well-known dual zipline, Dahilayan offers an array of activities that can be enjoyed by anyone at any age. For the brave hearts, here are the activities that may interest you: The Skytower Base Jump, Skytower Base Jump, Dropzone Freefall Ride, Flying Lizard Canopy Glider, Wall Climbing, and the Phython Roller Zipride. For the younger ones, the barrel train, which is a makeshift train made of the actual container, may be a good option. There’s also the Monkey Tree Challenge and the Tree-top Challenge, plus an outdoor playground, which may also be enjoyed by the young at heart.

For family trips, here are some options that parents and kids can enjoy together: The Luge, a sled that goes through a downhill track, and the AstroZorbit, in which you are secured inside a giant zorb ball and are pushed downhill as well. ATV and buggy rides are also available in the area that tourists can ride along the 3.5-km-forest road with semi-rough terrain. However, it is best to note that for the buggy ride, there is a limit of 110 kilos for both passenger and driver combined. Families can also enjoy the Forest Putt Mini Golf in the park’s 18-hole putting course.

Dahilayan Forest Park also has a place for the hungry called the Forest Park Cafe, where visitors can dine in with a variety of delicious and comfort foods and drinks at affordable prices. The pillars in the cafe are real pine trees. For the thirsty, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages may be found in the park’s pub-style bar called the Grizzly Bar, which has indoor and outdoor areas. A fire pit can be found in the middle of the outer area.

When planning to stay the night, one need not go any further as Dahilayan also has a wide range of choices for an overnight accommodation—from a room for a romantic couple’s getaway to a family trip to a barkada outing (up to a group of 24 pax).

From its nearest port of entry, Cagayan de Oro, one can visit Dahilayan Forest Park by land in, at least, an hour and a half. And because of its strategic location, one can easily access Tinago Falls for a quick swim in its amazing waters.

Dahilayan Forest Park has been featured in 2011 film “Forever and a Day,” starring Piolo Pascual and KC Concepcion.